Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Bacolod City hosted a mass wedding, but netizens would soon joke that it was not a mass wedding but a ‘masked wedding’! The city decided to require everyone to wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus. The move was met with mixed reactions, however.
In Sickness (Prevention) and in Health
Solemnized by Mayor Evelio Leonardia last Thursday, February 20, the mass wedding was done following the health advisories of the Department of Health (DOH).
So, because the DOH advised lesser physical contact with partners and to wear masks in crowded places, the City Health Office (CHO) of Bacolod City distributed surgical masks to all newlyweds. They were all required to wear the masks throughout the ceremony.
Before the event, the couples were also required to fill out health declaration forms which stated their health status and travel history in the past 14 days. This was apparently done as part of the government’s health preventive measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The 220 couples in the ‘masked wedding’ exchange their vows while wearing masks. With so many of them wearing similar clothes and all with masks, it was difficult to tell who’s who. But for the couples, what mattered most is that they are now married and that they knew who exactly they were marrying, anyway.
Masks Ruined the Wedding?
Yet the city government’s move to require the couples to wear a mask was met with mixed reactions from netizens.
But a lot of netizens that this is just over the top! After all, there is no positive case of COVID-19 in Bacolod City; thus, wearing masks is too much and that these ruined the wedding because the couples were not able to get proper photos during the ceremony.
Still, many understood that though the masks were a bit of a nuisance, perhaps, wearing it was for their own safety. Considering that there are so many couples getting married, it would be best to provide everyone with protection.
Others also pointed out that a wedding is not just all about photos and the couples could later take photos without masks, if they wanted.
Is a Marriage License Still Needed in Mass Wedding?
The answer is yes! Even though the wedding is sponsored by the state and done with many couples, those who wish to get married still go through the same process of obtaining a marriage license before they can be legally wed.